The regime’s power relies on intimidation and censorship. Right now, mistrust is a contagion it is struggling to control
In China, people from the city of Wuhan are jokingly referred to as “nine-headed birds” because of their habit of inveterate squabbling. In recent weeks, though, an eerie silence has descended on their world. Empty streets, empty malls. Everyone kept indoors. The government says 80,000 are infected by coronavirus, and 3,000 have died in China.
This pandemic has now spread to more than 100 countries and territories. Is the city just one big prison-hospital? News and rumour arrive round the clock online, but that dismal barrage in a sense only makes things worse. A few people can’t take the pressure, climb to a top floor and jump into black silence below.
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